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Plans for new primary school go on display
DESIGNS for a new primary school due to open next year were unveiled at a consultation last night.
Dozens of people attended the event at St Joseph’s Catholic College, which involved plans for a 12-classroom primary school with two reception rooms, on an unused section of school playing field in Queen’s Drive.
Swindon Council needs to provide an extra 30 reception places a year by 2014 and the same again by 2016 due to a rise in births.
Helen Peace, director of finance and operations at St Joseph’s, said: “We are becoming an academy for four to 19-year-olds.
“We have got free space on the land so we are building a primary school.
“It affects everybody in Swindon and people living in the community, so we wanted to hold an open evening where our architects, governors and project team could be on hand for people to drop in, ask questions and have a look at the plans.”
People were invited to give their feedback last night before the designs are submitted for planning permission.
After the school opens in September 2014, St Joseph’s College will be the first Catholic school for four to 19-year-olds in the country.
The school, which will have space for 420 pupils, will be one form entry next year and two form from September 2016.
“It is a very exciting time. We are fortunate we have got people on board at the school who have got a lot of experience,” said Helen.
Two sites, which were whittled down from a possible five, went out to a statutory public consultation last year.
The choices were either a new school on land once used as a council depot off County Road, or an expansion of St Joseph’s Catholic College on to an unused section of the school field.
“We have been working closely with the architect for 11 months now. We didn’t want to firm anything up until we were definitely chosen,” said Helen.
“When we were told in December we started working in much more detail.”
The plans will be uploaded to the website today and the school is inviting people to give feedback before the end of next week.
After that there will be a six week consultation once the final plans have been completed.
The school, which will cost £3.5m, is being funded by Swindon Council.
David Renard, cabinet member for children's services, said: “We are keen to continue working with St Joseph’s to ensure the additional places we get in the town centre are delivered by September 2014.”
For more information visit http://www.stjosephs.swindon.sch.uk/ or phone 01793 714200.